Civil War 150: Bowling Green’s Mt. Moriah Cemetary. A Resting Place for African American Union Soldiers.

It’s a little hidden but, if you see this sign you are there.

By Admin, BuyLocalBG.com, BuyLocalBg@gmail.com/
Thursday, June 16th 2011 10:00 AM CST

Just outside of St. Joseph cemetery (behind Kereiakes Park) sits Mt. Moriah Cemetary. Named after the Holy Hill in Jerusalem where Solomon constructed the great Temple, Mt. Moriah is believed to be the oldest African-American cemetery in Warren County. Believed to be established in 1862 (Some dispute it may have been 1870) and before this African-Americans were buried in a segregated section of Pioneer Cemetary.  Bowling Green is one of the most southern, if not the most southern points runaway slaves could enlist at a an enlistment center to join the Union Army in this formerly Confederate town known as “The Gibraltar of the West.”

There are soldiers from the Union buried in the Mt. Moriah cemetery from various regiments, they are known collectively as United States Colored Troops. On the head stones as the one seen below you will notice the distinction of “CLD. INF.” There are others that have “Col’d” for colored, “USCC” for United States Colored Calvary, “USCHA” for United States Colored Heavy Artillery. Most of the non-Civil War troops are marked with the war they fought in. 

Henry Knight, Company D. 13th US Colored Infantry

William Chapman, Company B, 119th US Colored Infantry

A row of Soldiers who fought for their freedom, their families and their descendents.

Coprl. Richard Harper, Company D, 115th US Colored Infantry

Nearby a soldier I found this headstone of a woman who lived through the era of slavery and came out the other side. This is what these men fought for.

To find these soldiers of the Civil War, look for the rectangular monuments with the inscription in a carved shield. Due to neglect and complaints of townspeople, the Mount Moriah Cemetery Association voted in 1984 to allow the City of Bowling Green to maintain the cemetery and collect burial fees.  There are no graves sold today in Mount Moriah. Only persons with proof of burial rights are permitted to be buried today in Mount Moriah.

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